As it’s Danny Trejo’s birthday, here’s your fun reminder of the day: he plays the same character in Spy Kids and Machete.
At 77 years young, Trejo is one of Hollywood’s most likeable veterans. His filmography is absolutely enormous, filled with appearances in the likes of From Dusk till Dawn, Desperado, Con Air, Anaconda, Breaking Bad and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as well as a bursting suite of goofy, ultra-macho actioners.
Whether he’s a high-tech handyman for the Cortez family or swinging like Tarzan using a goon’s intestines, his role as Isador ‘Machete’ Cortez is arguably his most recognisable. The fact he’s playing the same character across the two franchises will never fail to amuse the fans.
In the Spy Kids movies, he’s the oldest brother to Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Marissa Cortez (Jessica Alba), reuniting with his sibling at the end of the first film, before showing off his chops as an expert inventor in The Island of Lost Dreams. He’s also appeared in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.
But this isn’t where the character was first conceived, with Rodriguez explaining back in 2007: ‘It’s an idea I came up with back during Desperado.’
He continued: ‘When I met Danny, I said… this guy should be like the Mexican Jean-Claude Van Damme or Charles Bronson, putting out a movie every year and his name should be Machete. So I decided to do that way back when, never got around to it until finally now. So now, of course, I want to keep going and do a feature.’
While he’s gadget genius in Spy Kids, Machete has him as a ruthless ex-Federale who slices through enemies like butter, battling corrupt American lawmakers, standing up for immigrants, facing down cartels and, ahem, being hired by the President of the United States (played by Charlie Sheen, of course) to foil the world-ending plan of Luther Voz (played by Mel Gibson, obviously).
On one side, Rodriguez gave us progressive family fun with a strong legacy. On the other, you have hilarious Grindhouse exploitation flicks, packed with ‘bow-chicka-wow-wow’ sex and ridiculous gore. Basically, it’s all great.
Trejo earlier jokingly said: ‘Oh, that’s what Uncle Machete does when he’s not taking care of the kid.’ Then, in a later Reddit AMA with Rodriguez, the director offered a proper explanation.
He wrote: ‘They’re alternate universes! Juni [Cortez] is a Cholo in Machete and Carmen [Cortez] is KILLJOY in Machete Kills. MACHETE is Uncle Machete in Spy Kids. And Antonio Banderas is EL Cameleon in Machete Kills and Uncle Machete’s brother and the spy dad in Spy Kids. Cheech is fake Uncle Felix in Spy Kids and Machete’s BROTHER in Machete.’
Happy birthday, Danny.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Topics: Film and TV